PlayStation 4: Sony unveils latest gaming console – as it happened

Last modified: 01: 24 AM GMT+0
Sony revealed details of its next generation gaming console, the PlayStation 4, at an event in New York


Finally the Sony news conference ends. In two hours, we learned:

As expected, Sony is planning to release the PlayStation 4, the first new PlayStation in seven years. 

The new console will have a redesigned controller, an eight-core processor and 8gb of memory.

• The PlayStation 4 has a focus on social gaming, with gamers able to broadcast their progress and hop in and out of friends' virtual worlds.

• Sony did not show what the console actually looked like. Hundreds of thousands watched the two-hour event online. 

Thanks for reading! Check out our PlayStation 4 news story here.

Rock da House

Andrew House returns. He speaks quickly. "Intensified power to enhanced social capabilities," he says. "We believe playstation 4 proves that we have more to offer than ever before," he continues. "We look forward to continuing the conversation," he adds.

And just like that, the event ends.

A look at some of these new games

capcom deem down
Japanese video game producer Yoshinori Ono shows off Capcom's Deep Down. Photograph: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Andrew House introduces another brand partner as the Sony conference ticks past the two hour mark.

It's Bungie, introducing 'Destiny'. Dramatic music. Crimson skies. Caves. "It's an ambitious project," says a man from Bungie of Bungie's new game. He introduces four new people onto the stage, to the delight of tired bloggers everywhere. 

By the way, you might have noticed that the presenting pool has been 100% male tonight...

Congrats on not a single woman taking the stage! #playstation2013

— Will Perkins (@WilliamHPerkins) February 21, 2013

Another game preview. For "Watch Dogs". Looks good. It seems to revolve around the dangers of sharing private information and the possibility of that information being stolen. Which is ironic.

Then Blizzard Entertainment announces the release of a new "Diablo 3" game for the PS4. "We're very excited about this product and what the future has in store for us."

Event continues...

Still going here in New York. We get a look at a Square Enix game which features a fire-breathing dragon. Friends can swoop in and help you slay the foul beast. Then Andrew House, who is Welsh, is back up to spout some jargon. 

Sony and partners are certainly taking their time. But we're all having fun, right?

Why is this thing so long?? Almost 2 hours so far... #PS4

— Tony A (localzuk) (@localzuk) February 21, 2013

This #PS4 event is running too long, and really, kind of boring, please show the console, and end this soon.

— Moises Soto (@moisoto) February 21, 2013

These console announcements are becoming unbearable... game developers talk more than the console makers! Too long! #WiiU #PS4 #Xbox720

— R. Chase Razabdouski (@ChaseRaz) February 21, 2013

My colleague Erin McCann notes that the PS4 seems to be killing off physical media – "which is interesting because PS3 was a Blue-ray player, and the only one most people ever bought".

She adds:

They're not talking about which of these games are exclusive to Sony, but it will be interesting to see which ones are also devleoped for the upcoming Xbox 720.

Another controller option: the PS Vita

PS vita
David Perry, CEO of Gaikai, left, speaks as Mark Cerny, demonstrates remote game play on the PS Vita. Photograph: Frank Franklin II/AP Photograph: Frank Franklin II/AP
ps vita controller
David Perry describes how the handheld PS Vita can be used as a controller for the PS4. Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Below the line in the comments Happy Box links to YouTube's stream of the event, although I think both YouTube and UStream are struggling a bit.

pauliepolecat has asked for help with the tech specs of the PS4, and Skropodopolis kindly responds:

@pauliepolecat - well, I'd say it's pretty much a high-end PC with familiar and static architecture - good for game developers. Devs will probably leverage it more than PS3 which used peculiar processor. Graphics are high-end PC, but again familiar architecture - and DX11, whilst PS3 was DX9 IIRC. So, significant improvements are in lighting and efficiency. Definitely a lot better spec than P3.

Highly doubtful you could build a PC system of similar spec at that price. I'm sure you couldn't actually. So, you'll get bargain hardware, and pay it back through the software.

Because the platform is fixed they can leverage it more than PC equivalent. Looks a very solid platform to me and they should certainly deliver some amazing stuff.

The Witness preview

Big moment as Jonathan Blow takes the stage to showcase The Witness. He's been working on the game since 2008 and it is eagerly anticipated. Blow leads us quickly into the preview for the game. I'm switching back into descriptive mode:

Picture the scene. A record player in a tree stump. Then a forest. Then a beach. And a castle. And the sea. Whispery vocals and panpipes. A weirdly lit green room. The whispery vocals start going "Ahhhh, ahhh, ahhh". An electronic platform worms about in a yard. Something shoots a laser off a mirror. The camera swoops out of this little world. Pan pipes fade. THE END.

Nate Fox, game director at Sucker Punch Studios, introduces a new game by saying he was once tear-gassed by police. We've all been there. Anyway he's introducing a new game, which will be exclusive to the Playstation 4 – Second Son. The live feed was giving me gip through most of it, but I did see a military vehicle explode. 

david perry
Irish video game developer David Perry appears to have lightning coming out of his head. Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Killzone for Playstation 4 preview

We're battering through a very pretty looking video now. The share button is showcased again. Send pictures with it, video, live stream, etc.

Now we have Herman Hulst of Guerrilla Games to showcase what the 4 can do. He launches straight into his games pitch.

"In the not-too-distant future, there's a conflict between two warring factions" – bloody typical – "this is Killzone Shadowfall". 

We're shown in-game footage. I'll describe it.

A camera pans down onto a blissful urban utopia, full of rich blues and greens. A glass towerblock. A man. The man is in the process of going through security to get into what appears to be a greenhouse ontop of a towerblock. Then a bomb goes off! Chaos! All of a sudden the sky is grey, the greenhouse full of smoke and fire. Our man has a big gun, and is running around shooting men with red masks on. A helicopter takes off. He grabs a rope hanging from it. Someone's shooting at him, which is inconvenient, but not for long, because he shoots right back and kills them. He climbs up the rope, into the helicopter. The clip ends. FIN.

RT @izzynobre: Killzone Shadowfall

— Sú Barros (@subarroos) February 21, 2013

Watch friends play Playstation from the comfort of your own home!

Dave Perry, big-wig in the cloud games industry and founder of Gaikai is next.

He says the share button on the Playstation 4 controller will mean gamers can broadcast "100% realtime to your friends".

"Your friends will be able to look over your shoulder and interact with you virtually" while you play, Perry says.

That sounds a lot like when my mate used to invite me round to watch him play Goldeneye on the N64. 

But your friends will be able to help too! Perry continues. They'll be able to help you out with medicines and repairing injuries incurred in-game.

New game, new controller

ps4 mark cerney
Game designer Mark Cerny talks about the new controller, Bioshock 4. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
cerney ps4 knack
Cerny introduces his new game – Knack Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images Photograph: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images
ps4 controller
And a close-up of the new controller Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Cerny says Playstation 4 will be an "exponential leap" over its predecessors. Gamers will be able to interact their tablets and smartphones with the console.

Playstation "continues to offer the best place to play", Cerny conclues, and adds that he is "thrilled about the vast potential for the Playstation 4 to develop new and even more powerful gaming experiences". So...

New controller

Here's a look at that snazzy new controller. It will sync up with a camera interface, according to Cerny.

The DualShock 4. Loving the mood lighting.…

— Keza MacDonald (@kezamacdonald) February 20, 2013

Cerny leans down and picks up a brand new Playstation 4 controller that was apparently just knocking about on the floor.

He uses it to show off a game he's designed – his return to game direction – called Knack in which a creature called Knack fights goblins.

"[Knack] will be invaluable in the fight against the goblins," says one of the characters. Knack can use his surroundings to grow bigger and thus become more effective at goblin slaying, it seems. The video ends to applause.

Oh and in the meantime, Sony has sponsored a tweet that sounds just a little bit smug.

That's right -- PlayStation 4.

— PlayStation (@PlayStation) February 20, 2013

Ecosystems evolving, preference-driven paths emerging

Mark Cerny has taken the stage, and immediately started waffling.

The design team "looked at how the Playstation's ecosystem could evolve" he says. Evolve to provide a "dynamic preference-driven path through the world of content," he says.

Cerny is talking in a whispery, awe-struck tone, eyes wide, hair floppy. He developed Sonic and Crash Bandicoot and is a Sony big cheese.

Playstation 4 exists!

There is a Playstation 4.

House just said it. And PS4 just popped up on the screen. We aren't all here for nothing.

Logo de PlayStation 4 #MeriPS4…

— Pablo González (@Caith_Sith) February 20, 2013

In da House

Andrew House is up at the Hammerstein ballroom. He hasn't launched anything yet. In his opening remarks he addresses one of the issues consoles face – competition from tablets and phones that can be used on the go.

We'll show you in which the living room is no longer the center of the playstation eco-system. The gamer is.

Before House we had a little glimpse of the original Playstation in a snazzy, dance-music backed video. Memories of Tenchu: Stealth Assassins come flooding back.

Just jazzy music from the Sony livestream at the moment. Sax heavy. It sounds like the music you might hear during the opening credits of a 1980s cop film. Not going down well on teh internetz.

Creepy sex music has sounded to initiate the beginning of the Sony press conference crab lecture type o' thing.

— Michael Healy (@SenatorHealy) February 20, 2013

Great Expectations

So what can we expect to see from the new Playstation? At risk of just copying and pasting Keith Stuart's knowledge and wisdom, he did write about this last week. The meat, Keith reckons, is in the specs:

Right now, documents posted on the VGLeaks site and the titbits we've managed to squeeze from developers suggest an eight-core processor set-up based around AMD's Jaguar technology; a GPU utilising AMD's R10XX Southern Islands architecture; 4GB system memory; and Blu-ray drive. Eurogamer has an immense analysis of these specifications and how they compare with rumoured Xbox Durango features here. The information suggests, as many predicted, a much less expensive architecture than the PS3, and one that will be familiar to coders already working with high-end PC hardware. But will there be any extra surprises, like support for 4K screens?

But there's also those leaked controller images, showing some reworking to the current design.

"Rumours also suggest Move-style motion functionality, a microphone and a headphone socket. Documentation seen by various game sites has also mentioned a Share button, which may well allow gamers to take screen grabs or video clips to post on a social network," Keith wrote. 

Check out the rest of our speculation here.

Prototype Playstation 4 controller leaked (via Kotaku) #playstation2013…

— Kevin Oliver (@Kevin_Oliver) February 14, 2013

Built in 1906, the elegant old Hammerstein ballroom in New York City will be hosting a very modern show tonight, writes Keith Stuart. It's here that Sony will usher in the next generation of video game entertainment, finally unveiling its successor to the 70-million selling PlayStation 3 console. At least that's the world's press is assuming: the corporation, which launched the original PlayStation back in 1994, is keeping its cue cards close to its chest. All we know is that we're being shown the future of the PlayStation business. If that's not PlayStation 4 there are going to be a lot of angry tech journalists in here.

Tonight's event will be hosted by Andrew House, the President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, but Sony have told us to expect other guests on stage. That will doubtless include Kaz Hirai, the president and CEO of Sony and a cult figure with gamers. We're expecting the tech specs of the new console to be revealed - leaked documents suggest its a mighty eight core AMD processor aided by a state-of-the-art graphics processing unit, also by AMD.

Playstation 3 controller
Old faithful – rumours are rife that the Playstation 4 will see an upgraded controller. Photograph: Rex Features Photograph: Rex Features

We're also expecting a redesigned version of the Dual Shock controller, complete with its own touch pad, motion sensors and a microphone. Sony is also hinting that it will revolutionaries its online offering, perhaps with a subscription-based streaming service – a sort of Spotify for games. There are rumours we'll also see some cool new social networking features including the ability to quickly capture and share screenshots and video of games your playing. Andof course, this being a modern console launch, nothing will be complete without an array of video-on-demand partnerships. Netflix, LoveFilm, etc, will no doubt be hovering in the wings. 

As for games – the launch titles are going to be all important. We can probably expect a new Killzone shooter, perhaps word of a Gran Turismo driving game and teasers of other PlayStation favourites - maybe Uncharted 4, LittleBigPlanet 3… maybe even something new? Stranger things have happened. 

Whatever, the significance is huge for Sony - and the wider industry. Console and game sales are falling in both the US and Europe, and Wii U has not made the impact Nintendo expected - this business needs a hero right now; a new beginning. PlayStation 4 looks to be a powerful machine, that won't be hideously expensive to manufacture so it could be coming in at less that £350 - that would be big, too. 

The key thing is, there's a lot of excitement here, a real buzz. This may well be the biggest video game hardware launch night since Sony first revealed the PS3 back in 2005. The future is coming to the Hammerstein ballroom - we just don't know what it looks like yet.

ps4 ballroom launch
This is a gorgeous old ballroom. Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS Photograph: BRENDAN MCDERMID/REUTERS

Good evening and welcome to our live blog coverage of this week's big technology launch – the unveiling in New York of Sony's next-generation gaming system.

The electronics giant, which has struggled in recent years in competition with its more nimble competitors, hopes that the new console will boost its position in a tough market. Its main competitor, Microsoft, is due to reveal the next-generation Xbox later this year.

Sony's decision to eschew its home country of Japan and hold the event in the US, underlines the importance of the American market. Worldwide, sales of the the Playstation 3 outstrip the Xbox 360, but in the US Sony trails its Microsoft rival.

Somewhat unusually, the event is being held in the evening, starting at 6pm ET, presumably to maximise primetime online chatter in the US while catching the morning market in Japan, where it will be 8am.

The Guardian's games blogger, Keith Stuart, is at the event at the Hammerstein ballroom in Midtown Manhattan and, Wi-Fi permitting, we'll have updates from him as the event progresses.

While we wait for the event to start, here's Keith's excellent preview piece.


Adam Gabbatt

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
PlayStation and me: how a console shaped my life
Sony’s machine had its US launch 20 years ago this week, a console that didn’t just coincide with my entry into games writing, it defined my career

Keith Stuart

11, Sep, 2015 @10:55 AM

Article image
PlayStation 4 announced by Sony - video

Sony announces its new PlayStation 4, its first console in seven years, at an event in New York

21, Feb, 2013 @10:57 AM

Article image
PlayStation 4 launch: where was the console?

Sony invited a stack of people to the press conference, but then let it run on and on – and didn't even show off the product. By Charles Arthur

Charles Arthur

21, Feb, 2013 @7:47 AM

Article image
Sony unveils PlayStation 4, cheaper than Microsoft Xbox One - video

Cheers ring out on the first day of E3 2013 in Los Angeles as Sony unveils the PlayStation 4

11, Jun, 2013 @10:48 AM

Article image
PlayStation Now cloud-based gaming service revealed by Sony
Classic games will be available via tablet, smartphone, televisions and PlayStation 4, courtesy of streaming technology, Gaikai

Keith Stuart

08, Jan, 2014 @12:11 AM

Article image
PlayStation 4 games footage released by Sony - video

Sony reveals some of the games that will be available to play on the PlayStation 4 (PS4), following their announcement of the long-awaited new console

21, Feb, 2013 @4:15 PM

Article image
Sony unveils November launch date for PlayStation 4
New console will be available in Europe from 29 November, priced to undercut fierce rival Microsoft's Xbox One. By Juliette Garside

Juliette Garside

21, Aug, 2013 @8:00 PM

Article image
PlayStation 5: Sony gives the first details of its next generation console
The new PlayStation will feature custom hardware, a solid state drive, 3D sound support and backwards compatibility – but it won’t be out in 2019

Keith Stuart

16, Apr, 2019 @3:04 PM

Article image
PlayStation 4: Sony launch fires starting pistol on the next generation

First look at next generation of console as company announces latest gadget will be available to buy at Christmas

Steve Boxer

21, Feb, 2013 @7:54 AM

Article image
The Order: 1886 – is this what people want from a new games console?
Sony’s steampunk shooter has been criticised for its linear design and short playtime – but it looks beautiful. And it’s selling

Keith Stuart

23, Feb, 2015 @1:11 PM